DAILY COLLEGIAN (University of Massachusetts)
March 23, 2009
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Blood is cheap here in
You may not realize it, but you continue to give military aid around the world to governments that use it to slaughter people. You and I, the taxpayers, are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people around the world and we continue to be the reason for the suffering of millions.
One example of this recently made headlines all over the world: “Further accounts of
Because, in this case, we paid for it. The
Why do we give them money, which has cost each taxpayer over $24 thousand since 1949? We do so because they say they will only use it for self-defense. We do so because they say they will not kill women and children with our weapons. We do so because they say they follow international law when using the F-16s, Apache choppers and other tools of destruction we provide them. False.
Our money – our tax dollars – goes directly to
For example, when asked why an elderly woman was killed, a squad commander in the Israeli army was quoted as saying: “What’s great about
Surely, then, there must have been widespread condemnation from the governments of the
Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio that he believed such incidents to be exceptions, adding, “The Israeli Army is the most moral in the world.”
In the Haaretz feature, a soldier named Aviv described the orders he was given. “From above they said it was permissible, because anyone who remained in the sector and inside
He is completely right: He didn’t understand. This wasn’t an operation to find and kill terrorists. This was by definition an act of terrorism in itself to scare the people of an area into submission by destroying their property and murdering them.
“You do not get the impression from the officers that there is any logic to it, but they won't say anything. To write ‘death to the Arabs’ on the walls, to take family pictures and spit on them, just because you can. I think this is the main thing in understanding how much the [Israel Defense Forces] has fallen in the realm of ethics, really. It's what I'll remember the most,” Aviv went on to say.
Take a closer look at the death tolls. During the conflict, 13 Israelis were killed. Of those, 10 were military personnel. On the other side, 1434 Palestinians were killed. Of those 980 were civilians, and over 550 were women or children. The sheer numbers tell a troubling story, a story of gross overuse of force. A death ratio of over 100 to 1 doesn’t even take into account the 6000 Gazans injured during the war, nor the 50,800 Gazans made homeless because their houses were destroyed.
It’s all ok though, because in the words of Ehud Barak,
--Subhan Tariq is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at email@example.com